“Change for the sake of change…”
It’s something we hear quite often from many corners of society. Politics. Consumer life. Our personal lives. Conditions are horrible, so any change from them must be a good thing.
This aphorism is also the only thing supporters of Mayor Kyle Moore’s “45 by ‘30” plan for the city of Quincy — which will add a 2% tax on prepared food and beverages, with certain notable (and large) tax-exempt organizations excepted (more on that below) — have to hold on to in their fight to tax the rest of us in a over-reaching and redundant manner.
Quincy is going downhill. So any legislative measure that purports to adequately address that problem and bring more people here must be a good thing, or so the supporters’ logic goes. We think we are addressing the problem; ergo we should go forward with what we’re doing.
This logic is akin to us being inside our house as it is burning and opting to shoot ourselves in the head versus running out the door and trying to extinguish the fire. Even the most cursory study of logic and history should tell anyone that all change is not equal. Not all steps are steps forward.
Some steps indeed are steps backward. That is precisely what Mayor Moore’s plan is: a step backward. While it may not appear to be a gigantic step backward — as the tax is 2% — it is big when you add it to the increased cumulative tax burden Illinois residents are being forced to shoulder under a government skilled in the art of fleecing them further and further through all manner of tax increases and new taxes.
Seemingly incremental erosions of our liberties and our spending power is exactly how government has learned to operate because most people don’t notice, let alone think of the cumulative nature of it. That is one big reason that we need to oppose this measure.
As ardent socialist and father of the Bolshevik Revolution Vladimir Lenin said, “the way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of inflation and taxation.” Illinois politicians, very much including Mayor Moore, get this and are deploying it in a much more zealous manner than other states. If you want proof positive of that, you only need look to our west: how many people have you personally seen who live in Illinois, dramatically increase their spending in Missouri because of the much larger taxes in Illinois? Indeed, how many Illinoisans have up and moved to fiscally-responsible states like Missouri because of those taxes?
Being a mile and a half from one of these fiscally-sound states, Missouri, Quincy needs to position itself for GREATER competitive advantage, not less, as Mayor Moore’s plan would bring. This greater advantage, what would truly attract more businesses and economic activity, is a de-regulatory, laissez faire approach: get the local government more off the backs of businesses and consumers and let them control more of their own destiny.
Self-determination in how we are legally able to spend more of our money is seemingly less and less important in Illinois policy at the state and local levels. Governor J.B. Pritzker alone approved 19 different tax and fee hikes since entering office in 2018.
A recent Kiplinger study also found that Illinois is the LEAST FRIENDLY state in the United States for cumulative taxes. While certain percentage rates on Illinois taxes look low, they add to this worst-of-the-50-states cumulative rate. All this hasn’t even gotten into Illinois’s population loss, the second worst in the nation behind only New York, from the latest data available.
Despite all this, supporters of Mayor Moore’s plan think it advisable to further pick more rotting meat off the corpse that is Illinois. This undeniable fact should also make one look deeper as to precisely who is exempted from this plan. Exempted organizations include Blessing Hospital and the Oakley-Lindsey Center, who would benefit from big name entertainment the Mayor’s plan would allegedly bring to town. The Center has ties to the Herald-Whig’s — who put out an editorial supporting this boon doggle while not citing that conflict in that piece— ownership.
This tax would further hurt the hardworking bartenders and servers of Quincy. With less money in their pockets, what does Mayor Moore think will happen when consumers decide on a tip?
When will the onerous taxes in Illinois stop? Only when We the People demand they stop, and vote out any bureaucrat who pushes them. That is precisely what should be done here. Vote out this mayor and any council member who supports this proposal.
Yes the city’s problems need to be addressed. But adding new taxes, effectively further penalizing people for living here, is a horrible idea at any time yet especially now when people are already taxed to death.
One Local’s Opinion,
Full Disclosure: this tax would hurt my family’s beer distribution business, so I have a conflict there. That doesn’t make it any less horrible a policy for the reasons I mentioned in this piece though.